Poor Christopher Marlowe. He deserves so much better than Marlowe, the ostensible tribute created in his honour by Jardins d’Ecrivains. It is a new fragrance that is meant to encapsulate the complexity, sensuality, and theatrical richness of the Elizabethan era’s literary darling, a brilliant man who was a leading playwright and poet of the times, a handsome man who was a rake, lover, brawler, student of the occult and, allegedly, also a spy for Queen Elizabeth I. Some fringe scholars even think Marlowe is the one who wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare. That is highly unlikely, but there is no doubt that the flamboyant, brilliant Marlowe is a great choice of inspiration for a fragrance. Alas, not only does Jardins d’Ecrivains’ Marlowe fail to represent him in my eyes, I don’t think it would embody any historical legend of any era in any field, other than perhaps the men who founded Procter & Gamble.
Jardins d’Ecrivains is a French perfume house founded by Anaïs Biguine. She creates all their fragrances, taking her inspiration from the twin threads of great literature and the beauty of gardens, like George from George Sand, or Orlando from Virginia Woolf. Marlowe is Ms. Biguine’s latest release and is an eau de parfum which Jardins d’Ecrivains describes as follows:
Christopher Marlowe was the bad boy of Elizabethan theatre. Handsome and good natured, Marlowe was also a spy and a student of the occult.
This scent is dense, heady, feral, and theatrical. The top notes feature the poisonous nectar of the tuberose blended with opulent osmanthus. The middle notes of dried flowers evoke tragic poetry. Hints of powdered leather with chypre make up the base notes.
Top notes : Tuberose – Osmanthus – Elemi
Middle notes : Myrrh – Dried flowers
Base notes : Cashmeran – Cedar – Javanese vetiver -Oakmoss – Labdanum – Tonkin musk – Leather.